How to Stop Feeling Isolated
When you train as a complementary practitioner or therapist, you’re surrounded by colleagues and friends. Everyone is excited about the future and building their practice. The reality of working in health and wellbeing can be very different.
The feeling of isolation can creep in when you start to build your practice. You become aware of the different aspects of creating a business, and how many of those result in you working on your own. You also work alone as a practitioner and although you meet clients, it can be a very lonely journey.
Isolation can also occur when friends and family don’t understand the challenges of working with clients. Isolation can cause you to question yourself and knock your confidence. I have heard of a number of amazing practitioners, who have stopped doing the work they love, because of it.
In the bigger picture, isolation keeps our professions hidden and away from the spotlight. We work in very fragmented disciplines and as a whole, don’t have a united presence. Laws can get passed that ruin careers, and we can get bullied by large drug and food companies. Remember, you’re part of a much larger network including professional bodies, which gives you an opportunity to collaborate.
How to Combat Isolation
Create a support group (often referred to as a mastermind) with other practitioners and therapists. It doesn’t matter if they don’t work within the same discipline as you. Look for those who have a similar business model and experience of working with clients.
This group will be there to celebrate your wins but also to support you through the challenges you face. They are others who you can brainstorm with and keep each other accountable.
An alternative to this is to buddy up with a colleague, so you have someone that understands what you do, and you can act as a sounding board for each other.
Peer support is my favourite way to avoid feeling isolated. As a practitioner, I have a peer supervisor who I can share ideas with and get advice from both clinically and for my business. Mine is based in Australia, but with Skype, we just have to find a good time to suit us both so location isn’t an excuse!
I’m also a member of an online community of entrepreneurs and have informal masterminds with a couple of friends where we can work together, and support each other.
Conferences and Exhibitions
Attending conferences and exhibitions are a great way to meet new people and share experiences. Make sure you attend those both in your discipline and within other health and well-being areas.
Building your business alongside other practitioners within an established practice is a great way to surround yourself with like-minded people. It is also a brilliant way to build your client numbers as you should receive clients from the practice marketing your services and recommendations from other practitioners there.
Get Out Daily
Get out and about, especially if you work at home. Make sure you come into contact with other humans every day, even if it is just a quick trip to the corner shop, or going for a walk.
I love working from home and am pretty disciplined when it comes to doing my work. However, having Bella ensures I get out and about every day.
If you’re struggling and feeling isolated, make a commitment to yourself to do something different today. Think about what changes you can make to your routine, to provide you with the interaction you need, to help you thrive both as a practitioner and personally.
Contact me and let me know how you combat the feelings of isolation in your work.